Tiotropium in the Treatment of Patients with Asthma

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Abstract

Background

Asthma is a chronic disease with a significant disease burden, and many patients fail to achieve disease control despite recommended medical therapy. Recent evidence suggests that there may be benefits to the use of the long-acting anticholinergic agent tiotropium in patients with asthma.

Methods

We performed a systematic review of the literature to determine the role of tiotropium in management of adult patients with asthma.

Results

In six studies, 1773 patients were randomized and 1057 received tiotropium as an intervention. The mean prebronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 second was 60.1%. All six studies reported a small but statistically significant improvement in spirometry when using tiotropium as compared with the control. Improvement was reported in patients with both moderate and severe asthma, patients uncontrolled on previous regimens, patients treated with low- to high-dose inhaled corticosteroids regimens, and patients treated with and without long-acting β-agonist therapy. Five studies evaluated clinical outcomes with tiotropium with variable success rates. Although a large randomized trial demonstrated a reduction in the frequency of severe asthma exacerbation with tiotropium, there is insufficient evidence to support the argument that tiotropium therapy leads to improvements in asthma symptom measures, asthma control days, asthma-related quality-of-life-scores, or rescue inhaler use.

Conclusions

There is strong evidence supporting improvement in spirometry and asthma exacerbations with tiotropium in patients with moderate and severe asthma; therefore, tiotropium may be an effective intervention in patients with asthma.

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